Getting to CHS Field

No-Hitter Earns Medina Second Consecutive American Association Pitcher of the Week

ST. PAUL, MN June 3, 2019

Eddie Medina openly admitted his bullpen session prior to Saturday night, May 31 was not effective.  His cut fastball kept bouncing in the dirt.  Something happened from the pre-game bullpen session to his time on the mound in the bottom of the first hitting.  Medina found the release point for his cutter and utilized it to toss the second no-hitter in franchise history and thus becomes the first St. Paul Saints pitcher to earn the American Association Pointstreak Pitcher of the Week award in back-to-back weeks.  He received the honor for the week from May 27-June 2 to go along with one he received last week for the week of May 20-26.  He also becomes the first pitcher in the American Association to win the award in back-to-back weeks since Winnipeg’s Nick Hernandez accomplished the feat for the weeks ending May 31 and June 7 of 2015.


          The night started harmlessly enough with Medina striking out the first two hitters of the game.  The third batter, however, left-hand power hitting Chase Simpson, came up with the infield shifted to the right side.  Simpson laid a bunt down the third base side that Medina pounced off the mound, fielded with his bare hand and fired to first for the final out of the inning.  Little did Medina know how big of a play that would turn out to be.


          In the second. Jonathan Rodriguez smashed a line drive right at the shortstop Joey Wong for the first out of the inning.  Medina would fan Angel Rosa and get Hunter Clanin to fly out to right to end the inning.


          Things got strange in the third when Medina struck out John Nester, but the ball got by catcher Jeremy Martinez and Nester reached.  The very next hitter, Logan Trowbridge, was hit by a pitch.  KC Huth sacrificed the two runners over.  Eddie Medina then settled down and struck out Nick Ratola and got Zach Nehrir to ground out to second to end the inning.


          Medina was locked in from there and retired the next 17 hitters with the lone moment of trepidation being when Nester hit a deep fly to right that was caught in front of the wall by Max Murphy for the second out of the eighth inning.  Medina then walked Trowbridge, but got Huth to ground out to end the inning.


          In the ninth, Medina faced the top of the order and retired Ratola on a fly out to right.  Then, the play of the night happened.  Nehrir hit a two hopper to third that Chesny Young fielded up against his body.  He threw across the diamond and handcuffed Devon Rodriguez at first, who made a spectacular pick for the second out of the inning.  That brought up Simpson, who is leading the league in homers with seven.  Simpson hit a 1-2 pitch wide of first, that Rodriguez fielded, and underhanded to Medina covering to complete the no-hitter.  Medina fanned a season high 10 while walking one and hitting a batter.  He has now not given up a run in 26.0 consecutive innings, third longest in franchise history.


          Medina threw 107 pitches, 66 for strikes.  It is the sixth no-hitter in American Association history and first since July 27, 2017 when Matt Sergey did it for Kansas City.


The 29-year-old Medina, who has made the playoffs in each of his six professional seasons, but is still searching for that elusive title, went 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA and a complete game shutout in 20 games (19 starts) in 2018 for the Saints.  In 115.2 innings pitched he walked just 43 and struck out 104 while opponents hit just .224 against him.  He led the league in batting average against, finished third in ERA and tied for third in shutouts.  He hurled 6.0 or more innings in 13 of 19 starts and allowed three earned runs or less in 15 of 19 starts and didn’t allow any runs in five of 19 starts. Medina didn’t allow a run in 16.2 consecutive innings pitched from the fifth inning on June 15 through the first out of the second inning on July 6 and didn’t allow an earned run in three straight starts from June 15-30.  His top regular season performance came in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Lincoln when he hurled a three-hit, 7.0 inning complete game shutout.  Medina struck out the second highest total of his career, 10, in allowing one run in 7.0 innings to the Gary SouthShore RailCats on August 9.


          Medina stepped up when it counted most during the playoffs pitching in Game 2 of both the North Division Series and American Association Championship Series.  Between the two starts he allowed just two runs on eight hits while walking five and fanning 15 in 15.0 innings pitched.  In the American Association Championship Series with the Saints down a game, Medina went 8.0 shutout innings allowing three hits and striking out eight against the Kansas City T-Bones.


          Medina pitched for the runner-up Wingnuts in 2017 and had a stellar season going 9-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 17 games (14 starts).  In 90.1 innings pitched he walked just 25 and struck out 68 while opponents hit only .234 against him.  He finished fifth in the American Association in win percentage (.750), eighth in ERA and 10th in opponents batting average against.  Seven of his 14 starts were considered quality starts and he went at least 6.0 innings in nine starts.  In the playoffs Medina was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts.


          Medina was scheduled to sign a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2013 out of St. John’s (NY) University, but a herniated disc in his lower back halted the process.  Instead, he signed with the Las Vegas Train Robbers in the Independent United League and proved he was healthy going 4-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 games (10 starts).  In 68.1 innings pitched he walked 39 and struck out 66 while opponents hit .287 against him.  After pitching out of relief in eight of his first 10 appearances, Medina worked his way into the rotation and started his final eight appearances including an eye-popping 7.0 inning, one run, 15 strikeout complete game in his final appearance of the season on July 22.  He struck out 23 over his final two starts and finished tied for fourth in the league in K’s and fifth in ERA.  He helped guide the Train Robbers to the playoffs where they made the Championship Series before losing two-games-to-none to the Roswell Invaders.


          In 2014 Medina pitched most of the season for the Brownsville Charros of the United League and again was among the league leaders in several pitching categories.  He finished his time with the Charros going 4-3 with a 2.71 ERA and one complete game shutout in 12 starts.  In 73.0 innings he walked 33 and struck out 62 while opponents hit .259 against him.  Medina finished tied for first in the league in shutouts, third in strikeouts, fourth in ERA, tied for fourth in starts and win percentage (.675).  He was traded to the Fort Worth Cats in August and won his lone decision with them.  He struck out at least six in a game seven times, including nine twice.  His complete game shutout was a 9.0 inning, five-hit, nine strikeout performance on July 8 at Rio Grande Valley, the team Fort Worth would lose to in the Championship Series three-games-to-none.


          Medina began 2015 with the York Revolution in the Independent Atlantic League, but pitched one game before being released and beginning his career with the Wingnuts.  Medina was signed on August 1 and went 4-1 with a 3.50 ERA in eight starts.  In 46.1 innings pitched he walked 18 and struck out 29 while opponents hit .268 against him.  His team once again reached the playoffs, but lost three-games-to-two in the semifinals to the Laredo Lemurs.


          In 2016 Medina pitched the entire season for the Wingnuts and went 6-6 with a 5.56 ERA in 20 games (14 starts).  In 100.1 innings pitched he walked 40 and struck out 63 while opponents hit .293 against him.  The Wingnuts made the playoffs and lost three-games-to-two to the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the American Association Championship Series.


          This is the first time Medina has received the Pitcher of the Week honor in the American Association in his career.  Medina becomes the first Saints player to earn a Pitcher/Player of the Week honor in 2019 and the first pitcher to receive the award since Matt Solter on June 4, 2018.


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